antibiotic

noun
an·​ti·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ ˌan-tē-bī-ˈä-tik How to pronounce antibiotic (audio) , -ˌtī-; -bē-ˈä- How to pronounce antibiotic (audio) \

Definition of antibiotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a substance produced by or a semisynthetic (see semisynthetic sense 1) substance derived from a microorganism and able in dilute solution to inhibit or kill another microorganism The doctor prescribed an antibiotic to treat the infection.

antibiotic

adjective

Definition of antibiotic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : tending to prevent, inhibit, or destroy life
2 : of or relating to antibiotics or to antibiosis antibiotic drugs

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Other Words from antibiotic

Adjective

antibiotically \ ˌan-​tē-​bī-​ˈä-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antibiotically (audio) , -​ˌtī-​ ; -​bē-​ˈä-​ \ adverb

Examples of antibiotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The World Health Organization has called the growth in antibiotic-resistant disease one of the most significant threats to global health. Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, "These Medical Devices Are Inserted Into 500,000 Patients Each Year — but Are Tough to Sterilize," 6 Aug. 2019 Pasha says the Port of Peri Peri restaurants use fresh, all-natural, antibiotic-free chicken that is marinated for 24 hours, then grilled. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "Fremont lands California’s first Port of Peri Peri spicy chicken restaurant," 24 July 2019 In fact, each year more than 2 million people in the U.S. contract antibiotic-resistant infections, and 23,000 die. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Will this San Diego middle schooler save the world from superbugs?," 10 July 2019 There will also be prepared foods with antibiotic-free meats, organic cheeses and vegan items. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "Greenwise Market opening June 27 in Mountain Brook," 20 June 2019 But humans have dramatically increased the prevalence of these microbes by using antibiotics inappropriately. Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, "Mind the Staph: London Is Crawling with Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes," 1 Aug. 2019 Taco Bell is not alone in its efforts to reduce antibiotics in its supply chain. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Taco Bell commits to reducing antibiotics in its beef," 29 July 2019 Multiple surgeries are fairly common to remove infected tissue, as are long courses of potent antibiotics. Justine Griffin, orlandosentinel.com, "Why is flesh-eating bacteria on the rise? Some point to climate change," 26 July 2019 Most often, riders who fall crawl off the ground, spray antibiotic cream on road rashes and hop back on their bikes. Michael Powell, New York Times, "At Tour de France, Rules of the Road Are Often Unspoken," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Lipkin notes that some antibiotic resistance exists naturally. Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, "Mind the Staph: London Is Crawling with Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes," 1 Aug. 2019 Overusing antibiotics in animals can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that pose risks to human life, according to the World Health Organization. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Taco Bell commits to reducing antibiotics in its beef," 29 July 2019 While there isn’t a definitive treatment regimen for this condition, the antibiotic doxycycline has been shown to help patients who have it, the CDC says. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "8 Tick-Borne Illnesses That Aren’t Lyme Disease," 26 July 2019 Many countries have little or no data about antibiotic concentrations in their rivers. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "First global look finds most rivers awash with antibiotics," 29 May 2019 Aaron was supposed to be on a plane home on Wednesday but doctors want to keep him on an antibiotic drip until Friday. Julia Fair, Cincinnati.com, "'Mom's not gonna like this.' Northern Kentucky man gored by bull in Pamplona, Spain, now recovering.," 9 July 2019 The writer told Joann Schneider that her husband was supposed to have received an antibiotic every day after he was transferred to Masonic Homes of Kentucky from a hospital on March 22, 2013, to recover from a hip infection. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "The 'sad, scary case' of how a nursing home whistleblower exposed a fatal cover-up," 3 July 2019 The reptile's blood contains antibiotic properties, which speed up the healing process and render substantial damage as mere flesh wounds. Scottie Andrew And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "An alligator with a knife in its head just kept swimming," 14 June 2019 The 10-year-old was treated with an antibiotic regimen for 10 days. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mom bound for trial in case of 10-year-old who police say received unnecessary medical procedures based on false health information," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antibiotic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antibiotic

Noun

1943, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1891, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for antibiotic

Noun

derivative of antibiotic entry 2

Note: Noun use of the adjective antibiotic probably began in the early 1940's, preceded by the frequent collocation antibiotic substance, but was not common before Selman Waksman's paper "What Is an Antibiotic or an Antibiotic Substance?" (Mycologia, vol. 39, no. 5 [September-October, 1947]). Waksman has been credited with coining antibiotic, though he does not claim to have done so, and in fact gives an account of the earlier history of the word in this article.

Adjective

borrowed from French antibiotique, derivative of antibiose antibiosis (after symbiose symbiosis : symbiotique symbiotic)

Note: See note at antibiosis.

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Statistics for antibiotic

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antibiotic

The first known use of antibiotic was in 1891

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More Definitions for antibiotic

antibiotic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of antibiotic

medical : a drug that is used to kill harmful bacteria and to cure infections

antibiotic

noun
an·​ti·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ ˌan-ti-bī-ˈä-tik How to pronounce antibiotic (audio) \

Kids Definition of antibiotic

: a substance produced by living things and especially by bacteria and fungi that is used to kill or prevent the growth of harmful germs

antibiotic

adjective
an·​ti·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ -bī-ˈät-ik; -bē- How to pronounce antibiotic (audio) \

Medical Definition of antibiotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : tending to prevent, inhibit, or destroy life
2 : of or relating to antibiotics or to antibiosis

Other Words from antibiotic

antibiotically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce antibiotically (audio) \ adverb

antibiotic

noun

Medical Definition of antibiotic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance produced by or a semisynthetic substance derived from a microorganism and able in dilute solution to inhibit or kill another microorganism

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